If a state met this 1965 test, the state had to obtain Justice Department approval for all election changes, until Shelby.
The old triggers used voter registration or turnout percentages for all Americans, not just Americans of certain races, as Sensenbrenner’s bill does.
When pressed in the Project Veritas video, Sensenbrenner conceded that if the bill does what it says it does and excludes whites, it may need to be “fixed.”
Project Veritas videographer Christian Hartsock caught Sensenbrenner claiming that Texas and Georgia Republicans try to block minorities from voting, a claim the Left frequently makes in order to mobilize Democrat voters. Hartsock first presses Sensenbrenner on why he worked with a former staffer turned ACLU lobbyist to write H.R.3899.
Hartsock: Why did you work with an ACLU lobbyist in writing this bill?
Sensenbrenner: Frankly Because I think it’s the right thing to do. I don’t think Republicans should be running around saying we want to deny the right to vote to anybody and to prevent their vote from being effectively counted. Ah, you know.
Hartsock: But who’s saying that?
Sensenbrenner: Well, you know, uh, uh, I’ve, I’ve I’m saying that the right to vote is — you know — key to having a functioning democracy. And when I was chairman of the Judiciary Committee, one of my subcommittees had a whole string of hearings and a 15,000 page record showing, particularly in Texas and Georgia that there were still games being played to prevent minorities from voting, and that’s wrong.
Later, at a townhall meeting in Ixonia, Wisc., O’Keefe asked whether Texas and Georgia Republicans are racists. From the Project Veritas video:
O’Keefe: Recently some videos have come out in Texas showing people breaking the law… Do you think the people of Texas are racist?
Sensenbrenner: The thing is when we had hearings in ‘05 and ‘06, I would say a good part of the 15,000 pages of testimony were on violations that occurred in Texas and in Georgia.
But according to the DOJ’s own webpage
, which lists all Voting Rights Act cases, not a single one is against Republicans in Georgia or Texas. Instead, cases come from Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Colorado, Michigan, Tennessee, California, Illinois, Montana, New Jersey — all states not
covered by Sensenbrenner’s bill. Nor did any of the DOJ objections in Georgia
involve Republicans trying to stop minorities from voting.
Rep. Louie Gohmert (R., Texas) responded to Sensenbrenner’s statements about Texas to National Review:
“What many did not realize is that we Texas Republicans were generally supportive of the Voting Rights Act renewal so long as it dealt with racial discrimination wherever it was found — including Wisconsin, California, and Massachusetts, where there are indications that significant discrimination exists. Those pushing the last renewal [in 2006] refused my outreach that what they were pushing violated the Constitution. The Voting Rights Act has helped drastically reduce racial discrimination in many places since its inception. Now it is time to deal with racial discrimination where it exists today, not where it was 50 years ago.”